Are you severely or morbidly obese? Carrying extra weight around? Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis? Weight loss surgery may greatly improve your symptoms and there is a good chance that it may cause the disease to go into remission.
A team of researchers at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that people with Rheumatoid Arthritis and a high body mass index (BMI) have lower remission rates and higher disability rates. Research suggests that bariatric or weight loss surgery may help those people.
How does Bariatric Surgery Help them with RA?
Bariatric surgery works by changing the anatomy of your gastrointestinal tract (stomach and digestive system) or by causing different physiologic changes in your body that change your energy balance and fat metabolism.
The good news is the results for weight loss surgery patients with RA correlates with lower disease activity, decreased serum inflammatory markers, and less RA-related medication use.
Results of Bariatric Procedure on Patients with RA:
- Patients lost between 29-30 kgs on average
- 98% of patients were on medications before surgery and that reduced to only 66% after surgery
- 28% were in remission and were off all medications after surgery
The results are really encouraging and it seems weight loss surgery is a good option. It can improve RA, at least indirectly, by altering factors that cause the disease activity.On the other hand, studies say that RA patients with morbid obesity have a 30% higher risk of death due to cardiovascular disease than general patients.
How does Weight Loss Surgery Improve the Life of RA Patients?
Weight loss surgery may definitely give a new lease of life to the RA patients with morbid obesity; some of them are as follows:
- Weight strain on the joint is decreased
- They will be able to exercise more easily
- The surgery modifies the gut microbiome, lowering inflammation
- Medications will work much better when they are a smaller size
So being Obese with RA are you a Good Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?
Weight loss surgery is recommended only when you are obese having a BMI of 30 or over. That you need to discuss with a bariatric surgeon. But, when a patient is morbidly obese and suffering from RA, most bariatric surgeons tend to plan some personalized programs for the patient with certain criteria to determine whether it is the right time and the right person for the surgery.
What are the Different Types of Weight Loss Procedures?
There are three types of effective weight loss procedures – Gastric Sleeve Surgery, Gastric Bypass Surgery, and SIPS Bariatric Surgery. The goal of these surgeries is the same, which is to make the stomach smaller and induce hormonal changes, ghrelin, so patients feel fuller after eating less food.
Regardless of which bariatric surgery procedure you and your surgeon decide is best for you, it is important to remember that bariatric surgery is a “tool.” Weight loss success also depends on many other important factors, such as nutrition, exercise, behavior modification, and more.
The most important thing obese patients with RA need to note is that they need to be ready to adapt to lifestyle changes to ensure sustainable long-term weight loss results. In order to achieve the best outcomes, they have to commit to diet modifications, physical exercises like walking, and other healthy habits after surgery as advised by the doctor.